MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 12, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

Does anyone have MSD Atomic EFI installed in a first gen camaro?
  1. Is it worth the upgrade? (To get away from a quadrajet for a guy, like me, that is not that good with carbs. Ive had the carb rebuilt but it is still not perfectly tuned in so it would need a dyno tune if I don't. $$$)
  2. Can I use a singe fuel line? (The instructions suggest that most will need a return line, see attached, but I live in southern alberta canada and average high temperatures in the summer is 26*C or 79*F but does get up to 32*C or 90*F. I have a new tank already and dont want a return)
  3. Where do you mount the fuel pump? (instruction states it is best to be below the lowest point of the tank and as close as possbile)
  4. Do I need to upgrade to an MSD distributor and box? (currently I am running a Pertronix III setup so it will not be able to utilize the timing control function)
I am looking to put a few upgrades into the 67 to make it easier to take on a road trip and I've got some cash to put into the car and thinking I will use it for Atomic EFI, RPM intake and dynatch headers and exhaust. (Yes, all the original parts are fully restored and will be kept safely in the garage.) If I don't get the atomic EFI I am going to use the $2K for front discs and a few other goodies or towards a new convertible top.

If anyone has Atomic I would sure like to see some install photos.
Thanks

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 12, 11:11 AM
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

Don't know what you have read but check this out, it covers your questions saying "returnless" and suggesting as close to the tank as possible but below the tank pickup.

http://www.atomicefi.com/Quick_Start_Guide.aspx

From what I have heard it is independant of your dist but has an ignition interface if wanted...

Personally I'd do the brakes before messing with efi...

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 12, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

I meant to include this with my post... technically the frame rail would be above the bottom of the tank unless I went ahead of the axel but that would be going over 24"?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 12, 09:21 AM
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

I have the same system that I have not yet installed. I can earn a 7 off that table with an in tank pump and 93 octane but I don't buy it. I have seen another version of that table that I could not meet. Something about HP. I plan on the return.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 12, 10:38 AM
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

You can do return pretty easy. Just get the fuel line from one of the suppliers like in line tube for a Camaro with the return. This will get you back to the tank from the front easily. If I am not mistaken the return is not high pressure so som FI hone calmps and quality FI rubber fuel line should you from the EFI unit to the start of the line. On the 67 and 68 I have seen people run the return into a fuel pick gas gauge that has return and also into the fuel filler neck of the tank.

I like the Atomic EFI and I am no expert on EFI at all but I think consideration needs to be taken on why you want it. If it's more of cool factor and squeezing out some more MPG's because your Camaro is cruiser and driver like mine will be and not a race car but will see a turn of the tires and maybe a pass or two now and again then I think the Atomic will be a great choice.

What I also like about the MSD is that for another $175.00 for the MSD 6A box you can use the system to control your timing, initial, advance rate and total timing. It's my opinion that if you spend the $100.00 or so to go with a return line you will be money ahead. Add the MSD box and you have system that you can upgrade to use with engine modifications you may do later or if simply go from running low octane to higher octane fuels.

So to your original question. Your evaluation of why you want it and then figure the cost of the return line and the MSD box your into it for about $2700.00. For fuel injection and the total of everything it's claimed to do I don't think it's a bad deal and is expandable.

Now if you just want basic FI and better MPG you can save money and spend about $1300.00 going with the Holley Pro-Jection. I know a guy with this on his 68 Mustang 302 basic engine and small comp 260 cam and it's works great and claims he increased his MPG by about 3 MPG on the highway and about 1 to 2 around town.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 12, 11:28 AM
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

Sorry, I don't have any experience or even word of mouth info on the MSD unit. However, just from working with my system I might have some answers (right or wrong) to your questions. Here is the Atomic forum that I would spend some time on if I were you:
http://www.atomicefi.com/forum.aspx



Quote:
Originally Posted by vincevs View Post

Is it worth the upgrade?
(To get away from a quadrajet for a guy, like me, that is not that good with carbs. Ive had the carb rebuilt but it is still not perfectly tuned in so it would need a dyno tune if I don't. $$$)

Debatable. You'd likely never pay off the unit in fuel savings alone. However, it is nice to be able drive the car at any elevation or temperature and have it adjust on its own. You can get a good bump in "under the curve" power, and low speed is much improved over a carb if you have a decent cam....I can accelerate from 1000 RPM up in fifth with a 0.64 OD and 3.42 rear on a flat road and can cruise in fifth at 1300 RPM under just about any conditions. Having the ability to just tune problem areas with a laptop is nice too although I don't know that the MSD unit lets you do that. There are plenty of people who have a grand or better in their carb, tuning kits and parts, and time in getting them like they want them.




Quote:
Originally Posted by vincevs View Post
Can I use a singe fuel line? (The instructions suggest that most will need a return line, see attached, but I live in southern alberta canada and average high temperatures in the summer is 26*C or 79*F but does get up to 32*C or 90*F. I have a new tank already and dont want a return)

Don't see why not. The unit has a built in PWM controller for the pump but you must use the MSD pump. A return is easy enough to install later if it becomes an issue. Note that there is a warning in the instructions to NOT use hard line. I don't know what type of hose they supply but if it's not Teflon then it will bleed fuel odor. It is worth it to spend the money on Teflon line and it can just be routed along the hard line. Down the line if you needed a return you could use the hard line for the return which is what I did with mine.




Quote:
Originally Posted by vincevs View Post
Do I need to upgrade to an MSD distributor and box? (currently I am running a Pertronix III setup so it will not be able to utilize the timing control function)

You only need to upgrade if you want to use the unit for timing control. If you have a good, well tuned setup I see no benefit to using their timing control other than tuning the timing from the handheld instead of playing with springs/weights/dizzy. Even then you cannot adjust rate of advance like you can with springs and adjustable vacuum cans. Retrotek (my unit) recently came out with a new version of their ECU with timing control and a couple other tweaks, and they have a dealer trade in program. It is more complex and feature laden than the MSD unit which is fairly basic (full timing table vs just start/end/vacuum timing inputs) and will work with most distributors but I couldn't see any benefit going to it given how well mine is set up now.




Quote:
Originally Posted by vincevs View Post
Where do you mount the fuel pump? (instruction states it is best to be below the lowest point of the tank and as close as possbile)

Here is mine. Just took a few pieces of angle iron, a little time with the welder, some old leaf spring pads, and some hardware. It is bolted to the fuel tank straps (button heads) and can stay in place if the tank has to come out. The button heads used to mount it to the straps are in positions where they do not touch the tank (right below and above the tank seam) and I used some strips of an old rubber floor mat between the bracket and straps.




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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 28th, 12, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

Well I took the leap and purchased Atomic EFI! I've done a tonne of research and I think I made a great choice but I'll let you know as I begin the intake swap and install.
Plan is to install with a single fuel line as per the instructions to start
I will eventually run a return setup using my stainless 3/8 hardline and hose connections as this is ok with msd as a return only. The fuel pressure regulator mounted to the mechanical fuel pump block off plate and plumbed into the fuel fill hose at the tank.
I'll also post photos of the install, things I have learned and link to parts as I go!
They say "install saturday morning and cruise saturday night" but I will take my time and add this to my list of winter projects.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 12, 05:06 AM
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

Vince, any updates? Interested to hear how tings went.

Thanks
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 12, 09:44 AM
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

A friend installed one and is disappointed in the quality and the operation of the unit.
He has a FAST system on his other car and said there is no comparision between the 2.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 13, 04:45 PM
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

sorry, missed that post
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 13, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

Still working on the install... seems like a high quality system but I can't comment on the operation. I will post a full update once I finish up. Problem is that I have heard there can be issues without a return line so I am working through that via another thread right now. I changed to an aluminum intake (painted orange with machined oil fill tube) to accept the throttle body and I am currently hooking up the electrical. I am trying to make the the entire install without any holes or modifications to my original componants and that makes it more difficult. Just in the process of fabbing up a bracket to install the MSD control unit up inside the pass fender attached to the RS relay board. I'll add the details to my build thread linked in my signature once I take a few more photos.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 15, 02:18 PM
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincevs View Post
Still working on the install... seems like a high quality system but I can't comment on the operation. I will post a full update once I finish up. Problem is that I have heard there can be issues without a return line so I am working through that via another thread right now. I changed to an aluminum intake (painted orange with machined oil fill tube) to accept the throttle body and I am currently hooking up the electrical. I am trying to make the the entire install without any holes or modifications to my original componants and that makes it more difficult. Just in the process of fabbing up a bracket to install the MSD control unit up inside the pass fender attached to the RS relay board. I'll add the details to my build thread linked in my signature once I take a few more photos.
Vince: I know this is an old thread, but did you ever get your MSD Atomic system installed and running? If so, how is it working?

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 15, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

I sure did... Car runs so much better! I am obviously better at adjusting digital variables then screws on a carb. It was a bit finicky at first... It really made a big difference with a full return line and with the atomic controlling the timing! If you click on my build thread I have some details but it has been a while. I hid all the electronics including the MSD box up inside my fenders. I also ran hidden rev limiter at the same time. I really want to add this to my tank when they come up with one specific to the Camaro tank as EFI corner slosh is a little annoying. https://www.holley.com/news/articles...uel_reservoir/


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 15, 04:16 AM
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Re: MSD Atomic EFI: Value and Install ?s

wow... that holley hydramat is quite impressive but they're pretty proud of it looking at the price? I just installed a "tanks inc" EFI tank with in tank pump to prevent the corner & up hill sloshing - that might be a more cost effective way to go? I got mine from MCB and I think they cut me a pretty nice deal on it.

So if anyone wants a new, no road miles stock fuel tank & an external holley EFI pump....
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